Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche may be best known as a Buddhist teacher and author, but he also has a well-established second career as a filmmaker. Under the name Khyentse Norbu, he’s written and directed two well-reviewed feature films, 1999’s The Cup, about two Tibetan novice monks trying to obtain a television so they can watch the World Cup, and 2003’s Travelers and Musicians, a fantastical film about a young man trying to travel out of Bhutan. He’s currently at work on a third film, Vara: A Blessing, which is in post-production.
Set in rural India, Vara tells the story of a young woman named Lila and her mother Vinata, a temple dancer who’s married to a Hindu god. Lila meets Shyam, a lower caste village boy and aspiring sculptor, and asks her to model for him, though they both know they could be in danger if they’re discovered. According to the film’s website, it “seamlessly intertwines vivid dreamworlds of Hindu gods, classical bharatanatyam dance, and music. It’s a timeless story of love and devotion.”
The film’s first trailer is still forthcoming (as is a release date), but there are interviews and some beautiful still photos at the film’s website. Here, you can watch a video of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche talking about the making of Vara.